Friday, April 30, 2010

Age differences

Having children with a varied age gap often makes some outings more suitable to the younglings and other outings more suited to the older children.

Our family dynamic also doesn’t lend itself to having much in common with other families. I doubt you will find many families where mum & dad are both 30 and their 6 children range in age from 9 down to 1. I don’t know any, Mumma bare knows of 2 but they are in the states.

Some outings do appeal to the whole gang; we recently had a trip to the Museum where I can safely say every member had a ball. There were activities and displays of interest that catered for all ages, Miss P was a little freaked by the spider displays (so was I) but thoroughly enjoyed the activities in the childrens musem.

Finding a dynamic that works is a rarity, we came pretty close to the mark last weekend; we caught up with some school friends of ours and their families. Between the two families we had an even spread of children the same or close to the same age as all of our children, what’s great about this is there is no exclusion play.

Exclusion play is one of the things we have tried to condone over the years, its something that is usually dependent on the circumstances more so than the child’s personality and usually ties in with odd numbers for some reason. Our eldest children in particular know not to exclude their siblings, when you are meeting up with other children of the same ages in equal numbers this is not normally an issue.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere really, just making a point that its another bit of extra effort that needs to be put into planning family outings with a large family. In the meantime if you know any 30 year olds with 6 children under 10 who believe attachment/gentle parenting by all means give them my email.

And I guess while I’m making my wish list: a dad who is also into motorcycles and hates football and cricket would be nice also.

I joke, I kid until next time………….

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yabby Fail

It was my original intention to do a lovely write up about catching some of these suckers, doing some biology with the children then eventually cooking up a decent feed.

Unfortunately we didn't catch any, we found ourselves in deliverence country at a Yabby Farm that was highly suspect. I had to pay cash up front and the bait they gave us was so dry I had no confidence. Ideallt it would be good to just go somewhere and order a kg of live yabbies but at the "farm" we chose you had to catch your own.
We had a net and several lengths on string with rotting meat on the end for "fishing" I have always trapped Yabbies in a net, left in the water for quite a while (Like overnight)

But alas after 2 hours we never had a nibble.
I didn't actually get the impression there were any yabbies there, there was no sign of tails, claws or anything to show people had caught any before.
L quickly tired of the mud and decided to listen to the radio in the car.

It didn't stop her from barking instructions and How-tos

Given how hard C crashed for the trip home I think energy was still well spent.

The kids were dissappointed that we didn't get to catch any and more importantly try eating some. They did agree that that they had fun regardless. I grew up catching and eating Yabbys, and Rabbits and want to share this with my children Now I just need to find a better yabby farm!!
Until next time.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three Weeks of Coke Freedom

Well its now been 3 weeks since I had coca-cola of any variety. The last time I gave up coke I still had the occasional post-mix coke (usually from Subway) on weekends so I never felt the benefits of being free of the dreaded black death.

I'm waking up earlier and more energised than I have in years, sure I am ready for bed earlier too at 10:30-11PM but that suits me. In comparison when I was consuming coke bedtime was more around 12-1AM so now its great. Besides its not like time spent between 11Pm & 1Am was ever productive anyway.

This new feeling of being energised in the mornings has also helped with my daily commute. Some days I was getting up at 7- 8am or even 9am I wasn't getting in the office til after 9 sometimes 10am, this meant paying for parking and not being able to leave at 5.

For the last 2 weeks though I've been up at 6am or earlier every day (even the weekends). I've beat the peak hour rush & scored on site parking & most importantly been able to leave earlier.

Until next time.........

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday - Boys Morning Out

I'm the only early riser stuck in a house full of sleepers. I usually use my 2-3 hours "Quite Time" of a Sunday morning to catch up on any cleaning/washing or possibly mop the floors (impossible when everyone is up). On occasion I'll go for a ride but this weekend I decided to get a little more active. So masters B, T and I decided to walk the 1000 steps AKA the Kokoda walk. With early morning rains it was the perfect weather for a bit of a hike.

"The Kokoda Walk is a very steep track walk consisting of 1,000 steps. Along the way are plaques depicting the lives of those who fought and died on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in World War II. The physical effort required to complete the climb gives walkers a sense of the exhaustion experienced by the Australian soldiers following the trail during the Kokoda campaign in 1942."

I was up pretty early, laced up the trusty Merrells and packed the camel back with a few hi energy snacks and the 3 of us headed over to mt dandenong. Its a great walk we had the circuit completed within the hour (I think it was 1.8km up and 2.3km back), we weren't really hitting the pace I like to walk at but that's ok, it WAS hard on the youngin's so we carried a few litres of water and kept hydrated and made plenty of stops.

In some places the trail gets quite tight and as its a popular trek on weekends it did get busy in places.

A rest at the Top:
We made the call to take the steep longer route back down as there are no steps and the trail is allot wider and easier when there are many walkers/hikers/joggers.

The boys decided to go inside a hollowed out tree because it was "Scary" (Apparently this is them scared)
B Snapped this one of T and I in said tree.

This was just before we arrived back at the bottom.
All in all a great way to kill a few hours, and I feel like I really did some good cardio today, I'm thinking I might try and make it a regular early morning weekend exercise.
Until next time......

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Mamma bares mother recently broke a bone in her hand/wrist while on holidays in Vietnam, it was the first bone she has ever broken. Mamma bare has also never broken a bone, neither have any of our children. This combined with a nice little bump as mentioned on my bike blog combined with a little incident causing me to skin both shins on Saturday made me reflect on some of the many injuries I have done to myself over the years.

Here are just a few:

Both wrists
Yes I broke both my wrists at the same time, I was playing basketball on an outdoor court at school shortly after a light shower and after doing a slam dunk I slipped from the ring and put both hands back, snapping the radius and ulna off at the wrist on arms hands. I can still (15 years later) hear the sound it made as 4 bones simultaneously snapped, kind of like a hollow "chock" sound, both arms required manipulation to get the bones realigned and the left didn't set straight and was re-broken & reset a week later. They ache like hell at the start of every winter now and if I have them in the same position for a period of time I can make them click.

Broken Left Shoulder
Again at school standing on a roll of carpet in the gym, someone kicked it and I fell back on my shoulder snapping it off at the joint.

Left Shoulder Dislocation
Again at school, I was running and tripped, the funny part was that my mother insisted I was ok and despite my complaints finally had it x-rayed a week later to find it was dislocated.
Lost cund how many, I do recall doing one of my little fingers at basketball then having it rebroken a few weeks later by Mamma bare who squeazed it while pushing out 10 pons of Mr T

Toes X 4
I have broken the right little toe once, the left one twice and my left big toe once, which hurt like hell and took at least a month before I could walk properly. It doesn't move as freely now. The pic aboce shoes the busted little toe & big toe, done at different times onthe same day. I have size 15 feet so toe stubbing is common.

Playing Basketball on a fast break I was taken out mid air and landed flat on my bum from about 4 foot off the ground, this hurt like hell also, try sitting on one but cheek for a month.

Been lucky here, I've only had a dozen or so, several through operations, some in the back of my head from a swan dive through a glass door in kinder and finally a couple in my shin from a roller-skating incident (had those without anestetic - hurt like hell)

Misc. Scars
All my knuckles: I grew up on a hill, we used to ride down the hill sitting down on homemade skateboards (grating our knuckles on the road whenever we fell off).
Left buttock: I have a ripper hear that a few close friends have seen, I was climbing over a fence and jumped off the top and didn't see a nail poking out, apparently it should have been stitched but wasn't resulting in a nice scar.
Right side of my face: went a little wide will riding my bike and kissed a fence, took of a fair bit of skin off, the scars are pretty faded now.
Back of my right knee: I was racing my brother on our bmx's when my chain snapped, my right leg slipped off the front of the pedal and my foot went between the front and back wheels, the chain wheel did a nice mess there.

The funny thing is, I have bungee jumped, rockclimbed, paraseiled & clocked up several thousand km's of logged abseiling jumps but they were always under the strictest of safety.

When it comes down to it the minor stuff is where all the injuries are done. I have never broken a bone or taken skin off on a motorcycle because I always where full gear.

I know mamma bare and I are fairly cautious about the safety of our children. We grew up around farms & know the mischeif we got into. But parents in general these days are much more cautious. You only need to watch as we shadow our tiny tots at playgrounds all around the country every weekend. In some cases I dont think its a bad thing for a child to hurt themselves, a skined knee or elbow here and there at most. But if you can avoid it dont let your children break bones, while they quickly healed for me I find they are rarely the same after a break. My shoulder gives me hell, but I broke and dislocated it, my left wrist aches in the cold but it was broken twice in as many weeks.

Dont worry, there are plenty more a tales of injury for another day, like the time I fell off a 4 meter balcony in Noosa.

Until next time..........

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Long Weekend

We had a fairly quiet easter weekend.

Mamma bare looking spunky

Trolley rides around the backyard with poppy was a hit

Just look at their faces

I crashed several times

We squeazed all 6 in our bed, well hardly squeazed as its a king size

Probably the easiest way to get them to pose

Took in some park action, Mr C chose Bumblebe/thongs attire

Double swing was a hit

The aftermath - We asked the gang if they would like a gift each instead of chocolate to which they all screamed YES!!

Until next time.........

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Soundtrack to my work week

I have what you would call a rather varied music collection, at last count I had about two and a half thousand albums. Stuff ranging from Country and western, to punk, to hip hop to heavy metal and everything in between. These days I dont really listen to commercial radio so you wont find anything "Too" popular.

I haven't added the film clips as I feel you need to listen to music before you see a film clip

Phoenix - Lisztomania
My feel good tune for 2009, it did alright in the hottest 100. Also check out "Lasso" and "1901"

Regina Spektor - Real Love
I first heard her Lennon cover a few years back and immediately went and got her albums. Check out anything by her its all good, especially "Samson" & "Laughing With"

Julian Casablacas - Out of the Blue
Front man for the strokes, I was pretty happy with his first solo offering especially this one

The Kooks - Naive
Off their first album (and covered by Lily Allen)

The Kooks - Always where I need to be
Off their second album. This is the song that got me into the kooks. Also check out "Sway" or anything from their album "konk"

The Raconteurs
Hands down one of my favourite bands, A.K.A. The Saboteurs in Australia I've been a big Jack white fan since his White Stripes days. I also love what he's doing in the dead weather of late.

First recommended song from their second album consolers of the lonely is - The Switch And The Spur (I love the whaling brass and mariachi band sound)

The Raconteurs - You Dont Understand Me
By far my favourite Raconteurs song I love that it builds throughout the song to the final Piano Solo 3:39 - Its just bashing on the keys at the end but soooo effective.

Its not all new stuff on my regular play lists though
The Beatles - Blackbird
Their most simple and yet beautiful song in my option.

There are so many others, Elenor Rigby, Lady Madonna, sgt peppers, with a little help from my friends I could list another 20 beatles songs that I adore

Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
I feel like a bit of a hypocrite saying I like JC because I remember trips up to the family farm in my Dads 70's ford fairlaine and the only cassettes he had was Johnny cash, I used t bag him for being old and having no taste in music. I feel the tool now :)

Also check out the classics, "ring of fire", "I walk the line" and more recently "The man comes around" and the fantastic NIN cover "Hurt"

thats all for now until next time.....

Getting Fit

Building on from my post about getting fit I have first and foremost been coke free now for over a week. While I wouldn't say I drank a lot. I did tend to have a 600ml bottle at work with lunch then a glass or 2 in the evenings (Mostly on weekends). I have started to feel the benefits already. For starters I do not feel as bloated, I find anything fizzy just makes my stomach swell. Once I cut that out of my diet I really do notice the difference, its probably a belt size I'd guess.

Secondly I've been drinking plenty of water, I keep a pump bottle on my desk at work and fill it sometimes 6-7 times a day, I find this really useful come evening walk time as I don't need to carry a bottle with me because I'm already well hydrated. I just have to large cups when I'm home and feel good.

A result of these first two changes has been a good nights sleep, I prefer to work 7:30-4:30 and when I'm not wired on sugar from coke and lollies I'm able to get to bed by 11:30 and get up at 6. This means I get into work earlier, am able to get an on site car park (saves $4 a day) and can leave at 4:30 getting a head start on the peak hour rush.

I've also been eating breakfast every day for a month now, something I always love but tend to skip given I eat at work and some mornings are busier than others. I find this makes me also eat a smaller lunch, and then not want to snack mid afternoon.

The home meals have also been good (well they always are, snacks are the enemy), I think we had take out once last week (after arriving home from camp) and that's about it. I like to keep most of our meals relatively simple. I'll usually do 1 type of meat (sausages or burgers/rissoles or chicken fillets) with veggies (potato, carrot, peas & corn) 4-5 nights a week. Depending on what we get at our grocer I also like to throw in cauliflower and broccoli and every so often Mamma bare does these in the nicest bake. We'll do a rice dish once a week too, usually beef stew and rice (sometimes curried) or butter chicken & rice. We have also sort of unofficially made Fridays homemade pizza night, again very simple, I make the dough from scratch and usually top them with simple toppings like tomato base, cheese, ham & pineapple or pepperoni. I've slowly perfected it over the past year or so. Even though in the scheme of things this is probably our "worst" meal of the week we get the children involved with making the dough and topping the pizzas. Combine that with the fact that we know every ingredient going in makes them a far better option over takeaway pizza (which I have to say I have no desire to have again),

I've also been taking an apple or two into work with me for snacks, apples are something I hated as a child but living in the country allows us to shop for fresher fruit and veg at lower prices and when the quality is so much better I really enjoy apples.

More on walking. I've started my regular circuit again. I had to delay this because of some minor injuries over the past few weeks (more on that later). According to Google maps its just shy of 8 kilometres with at least 1/3 of that (the final stretch) being uphill. Uphill is always my preference, for some reason (probably my 6'7 hamstrings) I prefer to run up hill rather than on the flat. This works because by the time I have reached the home straight I'm nice and loosened up and limbered enough to bring it home at a faster pace. Unfortunately my trainers are a bit second hand, I have to tape my heels to avoid blisters (until I can shop for a new pair).

Lastly an indirect change I've made that is helping me improve my fitness is Driving to work, I rode a motorcycle rain hail or shine for the past 3 years and while its sooooo much more fun, commuting to where we currently live is tiring, mainly because its all on 2-5 lane freeways, lots of gridlock and very taxing on me mentally, you need 150% concentration riding in these conditions. The commute from where we are building our dream house does not have any freeway riding (yay!!). Taking the car has allowed me to get set in a bit of a routine. We are anti-routine with the children, but for us to fit the things we need to get done into a day amongst 6 children under 10 requires some organisation. I basically get home from work, start dinner while mamma bare goes for her walk, then serve dinner when she returns, then after dinner is cleaned up and children are getting ready for bed (or playing) I can then go for my walk. It all hinges on me getting up and to work early each day so I can leave by 4:30, get a good run home & so on.

Hoping I can continue on this trend, or at least get set enough so that the interruption of Mr C's surgery in may doesn't throw things into too much disarray.

Until next time